As a teenager, Paul Tischer was blown away by the 1954 movie musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."
Set in the 1850s Oregon wilderness, the show centers on rowdy brothers who abduct the beautiful daughters in a neighboring town.
"This is the show where I said, 'I love musical theater,' " he said. "I've seen the movie more times than any other movie."
Tischer is delighted to directed Modesto Performing Arts' production, which opens Aug. 22 at Modesto High School.
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Based on Stephen Vincent's short story "The Sobbin' Women," which was in turn inspired by the Roman legend "The Rape of the Sabine Women," the show is known for its spectacular choreography, which makes dances out of chopping wood and raising a barn.
Starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell, the movie was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture. It became a CBS TV series in 1982
and landed on Broadway that year in a short-lived production starring Debby Boone that closed after just five performances.
Daniel Simons, who played Judas in MPA's 2006 staging of "Jesus Christ Superstar," is starring as the oldest brother, Adam Pontipee. Simons is comfortable with the story line because he has five brothers in real life and grew up on a farm in Idaho.
Now based in Salt Lake City, he said enjoys the show as a glimpse back into another time.
"I think it's a good chance to look back in history at a classic piece of musical theater," Simons said.
Nancy O'Bryan, who played the mother in MPA's 2008 staging of "Meet Me in St. Louis," is back as Adam's wife, Millie. O'Bryan, who just finished playing Patsy Cline in Cline's hometown of Winchester, Va., said she loves the dancing and beautiful music in "Seven Brides."
Playing the other six brothers are Justin Tate, Justin Dale Roe, Adam Serpa, Evan Rhodes, Alexander Del Curto and Ryan Fikejs.
"It's very all-American," Tischer said. "We have everything but apple pie."